Monday, August 24, 2009

Joseph Smith--for further study

Every story has two sides. None of us, I trust, would be comfortable judging a controversial story based on the testimony of only one interested party. To be fair in your examination, you must listen to both sides of the story, or at the least, to someone who hasn't taken sides.

If you would like to learn more about Joseph Smith, here are some resources that may be helpful:

Wikipedia has a reputation for accuracy. It is one of my favorite resources when I have a question about something.

FAIR This site examines many of the stories told about Joseph Smith (as well as other topics) from a scholarly LDS perspective (though not sponsored by the church), such as the 1826 hearing. It is easily accessible and well researched. A great place to go if you want the "other side" of the story.

Joseph Smith Papers: Almost since the very beginning of this latter-day work, the Lord commanded the church to keep a record, a charge which has been faithfully heeded. So much information exists that it is almost overwhelming. The recent Joseph Smith Papers project will make easily available to the public "everything of a written nature Joseph Smith generated, or over which he had oversight." Marlin K. Jensen “This initiative will offer a very deep pool of primary sources for researchers to dip into. It will help lift the overall standard of scholarship as there will be greater self and peer accountability in future writings that will be produced dealing with early Mormon history,” he said. Ronald K.Esplin “I believe the volumes will become the seminal resource for scholarly work about Joseph Smith and the early years of the Church.” Marlin K. Jensen "Yale University Professor Harry S. Stout, a member of the Papers’ national advisory board, said that the endorsement by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (a division of the National Archives) conveys the Commission’s conclusion that the staff [includes LDS and non-LDS] and procedures of The Joseph Smith Papers meet the NHPRC’s rigorous scholarly standards for transcription and annotation and that the edition will be accurate and professional.” newsroom

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